Tag Archives: Internet


20 Jun

So, I’m always up for different ideas that I can use to tickle my inspiration.  Sometimes they end up taking me places I didn’t plan on going, sometimes they make me realize that there are some topics I just can’t chase very far.

I buy books, I hound websites, and I just start writing about random things.

One of my favorite trilogies is Your First 1,000 Days in Writerspark/ Your First 2,000 Days in Writerspark/ Your First 3,000 Days in Writerspark.  Three years’ worth of prompts in each book!  These books were based on a Yahoo Group “Writerspark”.

The fabulous news is, the moderator of the group is back and they are, once again, accepting new members!  This morning, I got a deluge of new prompts!  I’m avidly looking forward to prompts showing up in my email box every day!  I’m just as avidly looking forward to being able to stretch my edges and explore ideas I might not have been able to come up with on my own.

I’m wading through the new prompts, pulling them into my own PDF so I can take them with me on my tablet device and write when I have a few minutes to stretch.

How about you?  Where to you get ideas when you need to find new ways to exercise your writing muscles?  To come up with angles on things that are a little different than what you are used to?

This Yahoo group is supportive and will provide constructive critiques for writing samples if anyone wants to take a chance on it.

As for me, I’m going to venture forth and write about my desk!

Exercise #3740

The Desk

Compose a piece of no more than 750 words that shows the contents of a desktop in such a way that the images provide a sense of the person who uses the desk.

Random Inspiration (finding the smallest details that you need in creative places)

3 Jun

So, I’ve been thinking again (I hate when that happens) about writer’s block and where ideas come from.  I know how to feed my dragon when I have an idea and I just can’t get to the details.  And that usually works for me very well.  But there are so many times when there are hundreds or thousands of butterfly words chasing each other around in my head and I don’t know what order they want to take, or what subject they want to settle on. I just can’t find one subject that will make them happy.

Other times, I have kind of an idea for a setting where I want something to happen, but I really want to have a more concrete idea, a more real picture of what I’m struggling with.  I can’t quite get it right in my mind’s eye.  And when that happens, I can’t get passed it until I can figure out what might be the tiniest detail.

There are incredible places on line where you can find random pictures that can feed your imagination.  You can search for pictures of things, like red door or ugly car.  Or you can find random pictures that speak to you.  Flickr will let you find pictures that were randomly recently uploaded.  They can fuel your thought process, or you can decide that your character is the one uploading them and figure out what he might be thinking as he turns then lose into the wild.

The internet can be an incredible place to waste time.  But it can be a font of information to tap into.  Use whatever tools that might fall to your hands (photography books in the library, google images, or the two places I enjoy hunting:



The Internet; A Paradox

18 Apr
hand writingI think we don’t understand the Internet. We made it, but we don’t really get it yet.
We live in a very strange world. A world where anyone can to speak to anyone else whenever they want. A world where someone can write something and have it immediately accessible to anyone anywhere. Where almost all of human knowledge is available for instant perusal whenever needed. I speak, of course, of the Internet. Internet, that great and terrible god, savior of arguments and battleground of thirteen year old commenting trolls.
And what do we use it for, this awesome power? Sad to say, mostly LoLcats. You’ve heard it said, and it’s true. We can access all human knowledge and create a collective genius hive-mind, but we’d rather sit and wonder whether a small feline will ever achieve ‘cheezburger’.
Fine then, says you, what should we use it for? Obvious, says I. Writing.
Before long distance communication, if you wanted to speak to someone far away, you had to shout. The louder you could shout, the more people would hear you. That was then. Today, it’s as if all of humanity is packed into one massive room, and everyone has a microphone. Each person can be heard anywhere in the room. But everyone speaks at once, and the din is unbearable. That cacophony is the Internet.
The only way someone can be understood is if people listen. We could all communicate if we could somehow organize the brouhaha that is Internet. People with worthwhile things to say, which people like to listen to, are content creators. They speak, and others enjoy their speech. People who listen, are content consumers.
Back to writing. Writers want to be content creators, and today they have an opportunity they’ve never had before. The microphone is there – all you need is for people to notice you’re talking, listen to what you’re saying, and like it enough to keep listening. Maybe they’ll even pay you to keep talking.
So what does this mean? We have this great opportunity, this chance to speak to the world. How do we use, how do we make it work?
That’s up to you. But most importantly- Oh, look, there’s a cat playing with an iPad.
To see more of Nesher’s material, hack into his email account and read all of his emails. Just kidding, it’s easier to go over to his awesome website — and legaler, too. More legal. Whatever.

Blogging Styles: Don’t Paint Yourself into a Corner

6 Apr

By Guest Author – DCMontreal lives in, not surprisingly, Montreal, Canada and is a freelance writer who blogs at http://dcmontreal.wordpress.com/

Blogging styles vary as much as the bloggers who use them. In this article I will take a look at some of the traditional blogging “rules” and how you can still maintain your blogging style. I once read a definition of fashion that claimed true fashion involves knowing all the rules, but not being afraid to break them. Just a little food for thought as you go about blogging.

Finding your niche; it could be a style

They tell you when you start out testing the waters of the Blogosphere that you should find your niche. Select a topic and stay within the bounds: maybe sports, or fashion, or cars or music. But perhaps your niche is a style rather than a topic. As I have written about before, humor can be a great means of attracting traffic to your blog, and you can be funny about all sorts of things. Your niche could be social commentary which covers a very wide spectrum of interests: from education to gun control, healthcare to women’s rights. All of these provide fodder for humor, or satire, or commentary. So don’t fear being painted into a corner when you consider your niche.

Long versus short posts

I understand some bloggers’ style is to compose long treatises on their subject of expertise. I’m not a big fan of long posts, books, films or winters (I do live in Montreal); think Hemingway not Dickens or Simenon not Proust. Cut to the chase as it were. We live in a world of virtually instant information; we carry iPhones, iPads, tablets and all sorts of devices that help us keep in touch. Many people get their news in 140 character Tweets, bite-size chunks of information. Consider for a moment how the use of words has changed over the years. Have you ever seen a newspaper from the 1890s? They’re chock-a-block with columns of words, not a graphic to be found. As technology developed and allowed for easy photograph inclusion in newspapers, the number of words dropped and pictures started to become more common – the old picture being worth a thousand words concept – right up to the USA Today style of newspaper that is heavy on photos and light on words.

It isn’t all that farfetched to think busy on-the-go people enjoy punchy, shorter blog posts that get to the point quickly. They say that a blog of less than 300 words doesn’t make it to the Google radar and thus affects your traffic, but I’ve had success with short posts in the past and hope to do so again. This concept of terse versus verse upon verse isn’t new. Haiku for instance, the Japanese poetry has been around for centuries. It counts sound units known as “on” or morae (sort of like syllables). Traditional haiku consist of 17 on, in three phrases of five, seven and five on respectively.

Frequency of posts

In keeping with short versus long posts is the issue of posting frequency. This really depends on your schedule and desire. I tend to post daily; sometimes I publish more than one post on a day if the spirit moves me. On days when I’ve been late with my post I’ve been contacted by followers

to see if all is well. So it’s up to you, but remember people are creatures of habit and if you get them interested and expecting a daily post, make sure you deliver.

Remember the competition for readers is fierce and you need to make an impression fast. The old sales adage that it’s easier to hold on to clients, in this case readers, than to find new ones is very true.

Happy blogging!

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